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Guinea-Bissau new president vows to probe into Vieira murder
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22:05, September 09, 2009

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The new head of state for Guinea-Bissau, Malam Bacai Sanha, vows to probe into the killing of his predecessor Joao Bernardo Vieira and army chief Batista Tagme Na Waie in March.

The newly elected president made the pledge to his people and dignitaries coming to attend his inauguration in the capital Bissau on Tuesday.

"I condemn the assassination of the president Vieira and general Tagme Na Waie," Sanha declared in his speech after being sworn in at the Sept. 24 stadium in the presence of more than 15,000 people.

Five heads of state were present at the inauguration including Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, Cape Verde President Pedro Pires and Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore.

Sanha also promulgated his inauguration day as 'the turning point 'in the history of Guinea-Bissau.

This is because 'the country has opened a new page of her history. She has opened the page of dialogue, stability, social justice, human rights and the respect for human life," the new president told the gathering.

He pledged to lead the impoverished West African country to modernization and prosperity with strong and democratic institutions.

He said he will mount a crusade against corruption in the administration while waging a war against drug trafficking.

The new head of state equally announced the creation of a consultative council of the traditional leaders, which is going to bring justice to the people and allow for the active participation of the people in the political, economic and social and in the decision making process.

Sanha also appealed to Africa to come to his country's aid to maintain peace and development.

Sanha, the 62-year-old candidate for the ruling Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), won the presidential run-off on July 26, winning 63 percent of the votes.

The election was held after Vieira, who ruled Guinea-Bissau for23 years, was assassinated on March 2 in a revenge attack hours after an explosion killed his rival, military chief of staff Na Waie.

Guinea-Bissau has long suffered coups and coup attempts since its independence from Portugal in 1974. The country of 1.5 million population is among the poorest in the world, being ranked the 175th out of 177 nations in the U.N. Development Program's Human Development Index.

With a jagged Atlantic coastline, the country is being used by traffickers as a major hub for the flow of cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

The international community hopes the elections will end protracted instability and thwart attempts to make Guinea-Bissau a lawless narco-state.

Source: Xinhua

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